Iceland delivery driver from Rustington gets honour from the Queen for helping the vulnerable during lockdown

A supermarket home delivery driver from Rustington is following in his father’s footsteps by being honoured by the Queen.

Adam Smith has been awarded the British Empire Medal in this year’s Birthday Honours List, announced on Friday.

The 44-year-old, who works at Iceland’s Rustington store in Churchill Parade, was chosen for going above and beyond the call of duty during the lockdown, making sure elderly and vulnerable shoppers in the village got the supplies they needed and had someone to talk to.

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He said: “I was very shocked to be nominated and absolutely amazed to hear from the Cabinet Office to tell me that I was to receive the award.

Iceland delivery driver Adam Smith from Rustington has received a British Empire Medal by Her Majesty the Queen in this year’s Birthday Honours List

“My family are very proud with what I have achieved, and when I told my father he was beaming with pride, even more so because he received a similar award over 25 years ago. I am so pleased I was able to serve my community and give help to people when they had no one else to turn to.”

The good samaritan started working at the supermarket in June last year after moving to Rustington from Watford.

When revealing the honours list, the Cabinet Office said Adam was chosen because he ‘committed every hour he could to serving those most in need’.

Having seen that some customers did not have a support network, in his spare time he would collect customers’ shopping lists, head back to the store to do their shopping and drop off their supplies later on.

He would also leave his personal phone numbers with the shopping in case they needed anything else.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said it showed ‘extraordinary compassion’ and that ‘he has been a true lifeline to these people’.

When Iceland had a recruitment drive at the height of demand for deliveries during lockdown, he linked up with another local store and coached the six new drivers to give the best possible service and care to the customers they serve.

Iceland said it had received ‘countless letters of gratitude’ from customers, with many saying ‘they did not know how they would have coped without his help at the peak of the crisis’.

A spokesman for the company said his actions ‘created a butterfly effect within the business’, shaping its response to the crisis.

Iceland was praised during the height of the crisis for opening up early for elderly people to shop.

Adam’s area sales manager Mike Jones said: “He is an asset to Iceland and to the community, and lives by a motto: ‘never limit your challenges, always challenge your limits’.”